Andre Farkes told us that there would be a clue of what is to come form Viaje in one of the shipments of Viaje cigars to cigar stores. Above is the hint that Andre told us about. From this clue we gather that the HHG or Honey and Hand Grenades will be debuted at the IPCPR 2012. We reviewed one of ten of the pre-production Honey and Hand Grenades that Andre gave us in the spring of 2011. CLICK HERE to read our review of the Pre-production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades.
Printed on the front of the clue is a design consisting of a black outlined pentagon with a black outlined bee that has a hand grenade like shape for the abdomen. On the reverse of the clue are printed sets of word. The first set is “Viaje HHG”. The second set is ”The Shiv”, “The Shank”, and “The Rapier”. This set of what we can assume are titles of cigars. These titles are separate form the the first grouping “Viaje HHG”. finally, the third set of words is “IPCPR 2012″. From this we think that only one cigar blend is hinted at and three sizes are then listed and then IPCPR 2012 obviously hints that what ever this clue is referencing will be revealed in at the IPCPR in Orlando during August 2012. .
VIAJE - HHG
Viaje HHG (Honey and Hand Grenades)
THE SHIV - THE SHANK - THE RAPIER
The three sizes that the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades will be called
The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades will be debuted at the IPCPR 80th Annual Convention & International Trade Show
August 2 – 6, 2012
Orange County Convention Center – South
We are excited to see what the final product of the Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades is and what exact sizes it will be offered in. One thing is sure Viaje has a surprise for us at the IPCPR 2012.
Today we bring you a review of the Pre-Production Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades. This was given to us by Andre Farkas last spring, 2011. Only ten were handed out by him. This cigar is scheduled to be released this year and to be based off the Exclusivo blend. Will this be the next cigar from Viaje to rule them all? Will it be the next Viaje Oro Reserva VOR No. 5? Or just another excellent stick from Viaje? The name itself sounds pretty bad ass and unique, Honey and Hand Grenades. We won’t really know till it’s out on the market. Anyways enough of the talk lets dive into this review!
The Look: The shape of the Honey and Hand Grenades is very unique. If I’m correct this shape is going to be the first of it’s kind in the cigar industry. It consists of a rounded cap and a torpedo like foot. The size is similar to a Corona. The cap by the looks of it is triple capped and the wrapper is put on very smooth from head to foot. The wrapper has a light amount of veins and the pack is very firm with virtually no give. Lastly, the band has a glued on H & HG standing for Honey and Hand Grenades and has brass knuckles underneath it.
The Start: After inspecting the cigar I move to the pre-light aromas. The wrapper had light scents of manure and cedar, nothing too strong. As for the foot it also had a light smell of manure nothing too strong or anything, just average. Moving on to the pre-light draw it took some effort to draw and only had a small amount of sweetness. I couldn’t really pin point it to anything though. Now to begin the light up. Immediately received a strong red pepper spice that gave the tongue a good tickle and made the palate moist. It also had a dark, rich earth flavor.
The Beginning: The first third starts with the red pepper again which you can really feel on the tongue giving it a prickly feeling. As for the draw it becomes easier the farther you move into the torpedo foot. Sounds kind of weird saying torpedo foot. Making my way through the foot I picked up notes of a really dark flavor like a dark roast coffee. When letting the cigar sit it produces little wisps of smoke continuously and as for each draw they produce a great amount of voluminous white smoke that warms the mouth. Now once I get passed the torpedo foot the spice begins to smooth out and the dark flavors begin to come on more than before. The burn here is a little wavy but nothing too concerning. Pretty confident it should smooth out later because it probably waved out due to the torpedo foot light. I’m also really enjoying how it feels in the hand and mouth, good natural feel with the right amount of weight to it. Getting closer to the second third the flavor profile begins to change starting with a bitterness rising up and a tiny amount of burnt caramelized maple wood. With the aroma being of a sweet wood. Also by the start of the second third the burn evens out and the ash that is a mix of white, grey, and black stays firm up til this point.
The Middle: Now making my way into the second third the smoke begins to become more creamy adding more of that sweetness of a semi burnt maple wood. The spice isn’t completely gone thought it’s now more on the back burner to say the least. The profile transition so far has just been great; starting with the dark beginning and now entering the sweet middle. The draw at this point has become very smooth and producing more voluminous amounts of smoke. The burn also has improved just like the draw becoming almost razor sharp. Another plus with this cigar too is that you can let it rest for quite some time without it going out which is due to the smaller ring gauge. Now just before going into the last third I noticed a hint of manure which I’m saying I could have been picking up from the aroma itself.
The End: Lastly, I begin the final third of the Honey and Hand Grenades. The peak of the sweet and creaminess is right here and then it slowly begins to retract. The spice begins it’s ascend back up with it starting to tickle the tongue again. Along with the spice comes the bitterness again. It transforms into more of a barnyard type musk. For example when you go into an old barn and it gives off an old wet smell. The burn is still going steady and same with the ash. Getting farther into the last third the smoke begins to dry out more and inducing a very small amount of almond flavor and a bitter anise flavor on the finish but, still overall keeping that pleasant musky spice. I gave it a retro haul here and experienced a heavy amount of spice that made me tear up a bit. Then as for the finish it consisted of red pepper with an after taste of the musky barnyard wood.
Final Thoughts: Once all is said and done this smoke took me about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades was superb! I was able to smoke it down to the nub without any complaints. I’m very excited for when this hits the market. It has a bad ass name and I especially love the new shape that Viaje tried to do here with a mix between your standard Parejo and Figurado. Hopefully this won’t be the last of this kind of shape because others in the industry could benefit from this idea and maybe even take it further. The Viaje Honey and Hand Grenades provides an excellent journey that any aficionado or beginner would be happy with. I look forward to when this is out and others can enjoy it just as much as I did. Lastly remember folks to check back when this cigar hits the market for our post production review comparison!
The Viaje Skull and Bones Little Boy as shown this year at ICPCPR in Las Vegas was once again a powerful ass kicking stick. A little smaller this year, capped both sides, and fitting in about the palm of your hand. Personally it wasn’t as intense as the previous WMD or MOAB but, that is probably due to the smaller size this time. Also along with it being smaller, the price per stick was reduced this time which is always a good thing. The band was also the same, it had a dark oily wrapper with it smelling like a sweet mild tobacco, and light veins. I used a straight cut with a very small clip in the other end. The pre-light draw was a sweet tobacco and the initial draw was sweet with a warm woody earth spice and a hint of leather. The aroma coming off this stick was comparable to a campfire type smell. This overall was a very full-bodied smoke which right off the bat you can tell. The draws were smooth and very smokey. Also this stick produced quite a bit of smoke while resting aswell.
Going through the first third the profile was complex with certain flavors being here and there. The main standout flavors were a decently strong wood spice that tingled the tongue a bit and a rich dark earth tone. There was however an underlying sweetness that was the typical sweetness you see in Viaje blends. The other flavors that were in and out at this stage were a warm mixed nut and a bit of bitter espresso. Otherwise the smoke was warm and creamy most likely due to the amount of smoke being given off. Another thing I would like to note with this stick even thought it is small this stick last as long as a bigger stick due to the slow burn. I say take your time with this Skull and Bones just like the last ones this will sneak up on you which it did to me at the midway point. The was pretty much razor sharp throughout with the ash being a dark grey with black peppered in it.
The second third has the a roasted nut and wood spice take center stage with each puff around this point bringing a different underlying tone each time. Such things like earth, a cocoa bitterness, espresso, and a dark earth all being here and there with each puff. The profile for this stick always has 2 main flavors but, has alot of different tones I’ve noticed. The ash is staying firm but also a tad flaky too. By the midway point I’m really feeling the buzz which makes ya slow down a bit. I now feel the challenge begin.
I make it to the final third….by this time the tones that are all over the place begin to disappear with only the roasted nut and dark earth remaining and the spice stepping off to the side not being in the main stage anymore. The rest remains constant with this stick having a finish of the roasted nut and dark earth being last. Overall this is a very full-bodied smoke that I do suggest take your time on and really enjoy it and most of all don’t smoke this on an empty stomach or you might get yourself into a mess. This stick was released along with theFat Man too which was a slightly larger ring gauge. Opinion is try this if you want a challenge or love a really full-bodied cigar.
The Viaje Skull and Bones Fat Man like its predecessors the Skull and Bones Mother of Bombs and Weapon of Mass Destruction takes full-bodied to another level. Even though this doubled capped oily cigar is very strong, the flavors are not muted or over powered but, whoever lights this cigar up maybe.
The pre-draw had pepper, wood, and a hint of vanilla. At first light the draw was decent and had flavors of spice and wood are present and the finish is provides a great combination of wasabi and wood flavors. The first third has a dominating wood flavor with some spice and a finish of wood. The draw became better a fourth inch with some resistance.
The second third still featured woody favors but added a sweet tobacco component to the flavor profile. By now one can tell just how full-bodied this cigar is. Have a meal before attempting to tackle this beast. It will help immensely for preventing a buzz from turning into being over powered and getting sick or worse having to quit smoking. The burn became jagged and needed corrections in order for the flavor to not be affected.
The final third was simply a very strong wood flavor and by now the nicotine buzz was at full force. The buzz could easily overwhelm the novice smoker to the aficionado.
Over all this cigar accomplished what it set out to do, put anyone on their behind in no time. The favors were very enjoyable but the draw could have been better and the cigar did need a few corrections but in total it was quite good. If you are looking to see how much cigar you can handle pick this the Viaje Skull and Bones Fat Man up or a slightly smaller version the Little Boy and brace yourself.